End of Life Planning & Your Personal Data
Post by: Molly Markey | ELDR No matter where you look or what service you’re searching for, the world has gone digital. From online banking to photo storage, most of the services we use on a daily basis are accessed through an online portal or cloud environment. And, while some of us may have resisted at first, most recognize that these digital products provide safer, more accessible solutions to many of our needs. Why then do so many people maintain their important estate and end-of-life documents on paper? Time and again families find themselves overwhelmed by the task of searching
Is there ever a good time?
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC “It is time to put your affairs in order.” If you have ever been present when someone you love has been on the receiving end of these words, you know that it is truly one of the most difficult statements to hear. You also know that it is one of the most overwhelming. After all, what does it really mean “to put your affairs in order”? The tasks required to put your affairs in order center around 4 key areas: Healthcare Advance Directives – Make sure that you have identified
Important Family Conversations
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted November 1, 2021) In 1789, Ben Franklin said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” But, we are MUCH more likely to discuss taxes with our family members than we are to discuss topics related to aging and end of life. What do you talk about at your family dinners? If you are like most families, you probably avoid discussion of religion or politics. Unfortunately, you also probably steer clear of topics related to illness, aging, death, and dying. Most families avoid these important conversations
Are You a Frog in a Pot?
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted October 9, 2021) Urban legend suggests that if a frog is suddenly put into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out and save itself from impending death. But, if you put the frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly bring it to a boil, it will not perceive the danger and will slowly be cooked to death. Being a family caregiver can feel kind of like being a frog in a pot. Caregiving responsibilities tend to creep up on you over time. Simple acts
Am I Really a Caregiver?
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted July 26, 2021) Most people don’t identify themselves as a caregiver. Rather, they think of themselves as a daughter, a son, a parent, a spouse, a grandparent, or a grandchild. The things you do for others and the responsibilities that you shoulder are done out of love and with love. This is definitely how I saw myself until a family medical crisis thrust me into a more formal role with an official name – “Family Caregiver”. The formal role of family caregiver sneaks up on most people and
Keep Your Resolution to Get Organized
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted January 4, 2021) The start of each New Year brings renewed energy and commitment to personal goals and resolutions. Year after year, as I turned the calendar from December to January, I resolved to organize all of my family information and documents. Inevitably I would become overwhelmed by the task, would get frustrated by the sheer volume of information, and would ultimately pause my efforts with a bit of progress made but far short of the goal I had hoped to achieve. I am FINALLY able to say
Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted July 20, 2020) When education, employment or opportunity led you to your current location far from your childhood home, the future need to be available for your parents as they faced the challenges of aging wasn’t even a consideration for you – or for them. The years have passed, and you are now facing the challenge of helping from a distance to ensure your parents receive the care that they need as they deal with the challenges of aging. Gratefully, there are things you can do to facilitate
Preparing for the Unexpected
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted June 24, 2020) Having the right information, in the right place, and at the right time will save you time, money and frustration. It might even save your life! Experience is a wonderful teacher, and if the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected! Bouncing back from a crisis depends, in large part, on our readiness to respond. And, having access to important documents and information is one important step in responding to many types of crisis situations.
Keeping Memories Alive
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted May 9, 2020) One of the greatest gifts my husband has ever given me is to help me keep the memory of my mother alive. My mother was a phenomenal woman with a larger than life personality and a generous spirit. She was a successful comedienne in the early days of Las Vegas, an accomplished entrepreneur, and a patron of the community. She was also my greatest supporter, my best friend, and my closest confidante. Unfortunately, she died when I was only 24 years old after a long
Legacy of Love
Post by: Jonathan Wray, My Data Diary+ User (Originally posted April 11, 2020) My husband, Jonathan, recently gave our children a gift they will cherish forever. I invited him to share the experience of writing and sharing his Legacy Letter in this month’s blog post. Enjoy! ~Darra When I turned 50 earlier this year, I found myself in that place that many men find themselves: nostalgically and critically evaluating myself, my accomplishments, and my contributions. I didn’t find myself in a rut of self-pity about the things I
Permission, Information & Imagination
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted February 22, 2020) Having the permission and information you need will allow you and your family effectively engage in an increasingly digital world. Combine that with the ability to imagine and embrace new solutions to old problems, and you can truly harness the power of technology to streamline and simplify the business of your life! We are in the midst of a technological revolution. Billions of dollars have been spent by businesses and government entities to harness the power of automation and digital information as a means to
Resolve to Get Your Ducks in a Row
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted October 7, 2019) Prompted by the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and the annual tax preparation process, many people make a commitment to at this time of the year to gather and organize all of their family information. Prompted by the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions and the annual tax preparation process, many people make a commitment to themselves and their families to gather and organize all of their family information at the start of each year. But, as people realize the sheer magnitude of data and documents
Overcoming Expectation Bias
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted October 7, 2019) While there is much discussion of the impact of bias in our world today, it is most often in the context of gender, race, or religion. As a society, we actively work to compensate for these cultural biases at the same time we overlook our personal biases that come from experience and expectation. 19th century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was right when he said, “People only see what they are prepared to see.” Aging gracefully requires planning for both the expected and the unexpected, especially
Important Additions to Your Pakcking List
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted September 8, 2019) Emergencies can happen wherever you are, and travel plans are ruined by illness and injury more often than most people imagine. As you prepare for your next business trip, vacation or adventure, make sure you take with you (or have access to) the information you will need in case of a medical emergency: Medication List Allergies, Health Conditions, and Blood Type Physician Contact Information Emergency Contact Information Health Insurance Information Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney A few additional important items to
7 Things I Wish I Had Known About Medicare
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted August 10, 2019) Insurance is insurance… At least, that’s what I thought before I was unexpectedly thrust into the world of Medicare when my mother-in-law suddenly and unexpectedly fell ill and was hospitalized. I was in my mid 40’s, and it had never occurred to me that I needed to understand how Medicare worked. But, as the family caregiver of aging parents, I learned the hard way just how critical it is to understand Medicare long before you will be eligible yourself. My Medicare education started with a
4 Easy Steps to Update Your Caregiving Toolkit
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted July 9, 2019) You already have a set of tools that you use to help you manage your daily caregiving responsibilities – from calendar and household management to healthcare management and the daily support needed by your loved ones. But, in recent years, technology has added additional complexity to your caregiving responsibilities with new tools and systems that need to be accessed and privacy regulations that need to be navigated. It is possible to harness the power of technology to ease your caregiving burden with an update to
The Changing Rules of the Caregiving Game
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted June 9, 2019) The digital world is changing the rules of the caregiving game. Healthcare organizations, financial institutions, educational organizations and professional service providers have invested billions of dollars in data automation. They now expect clients, patients, and caregivers to engage with them in an electronic format whether it be for appointment setting, providing documentation, or seeking updates through a member portal. Unprepared for the digital revolution, most people still have a lifetime of paper records stored in boxes or filing cabinets. When faced with a need to
If you got the emergency phone call, would you have the information you need?
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted October 28, 2018) We routinely complete forms at school, at work, for sports / extra-curricular activities, and at medical appointments that require us to provide emergency contact information. Without even thinking we enter the names and numbers of our parents, our adult children and our closest friends. We might mention to the people we named that we put their name down on the form, but more often than not, we just know that they would help. But, if they were called in an emergency to help you, would
Liberate Your Data!
Post by: Darra Wray, Founder – My Data Diary, LLC (Originally posted June 11, 2018) I love HIPAA. Really, I do. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created to protect personal health information. It was designed to make it possible for health providers to access the information related to patient care while protecting patient rights to access their own information. Healthcare organizations have invested billions of dollars in healthcare interoperability and information security. They have created patient portals, robust websites, and a complex maze of electronic data sources that patients and / or their caregivers must now